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Lumberton man gets 5 years for improper benefits

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NEW BERN, NC (AP) -- A Lumberton man has been sentenced to five years in prison for improperly taking benefits from the Veterans Administration.

Forty-one-year-old Ronnie Glenn Eddings pleaded guilty in February to theft of government property.

U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan in New Bern on Tuesday also ordered Eddings to serve three years of supervised release. He also has been ordered to pay nearly $900,000 in restitution.

Eddings was accused of receiving undeserved service-related benefits from 1994 to 2010 from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Eddings served in the Navy. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Eddings said he was injured in Saudi Arabia and suffered progressively worsening symptoms that put him in a wheelchair.

Authorities learned Eddings was working jobs while on disability that could not be performed by someone in a wheelchair.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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